If high school dropout rates were reduced by half, graduates in the United States would likely have bought homes worth $10.5 billion more than what they would likely spend without a diploma; supported 30,000 additional jobs and increased the gross regional product in these areas by a total of up to $5.3 billion by the time these new graduates reach the midpoint of their careers, according to a study release today by the Alliance for Excellent Education
Few people realize the impact that high school dropouts have on a community’s economic, social, and civic health. Business owners and residents—in particular, those without school-aged children—may not be aware that they have much at stake in the success of their local high schools. Indeed, everyone—from car dealers and realtors to bank managers and local business owners—benefits when more students graduate from high school.
According to data provided to New York State under the No Child Left Behind Act only 65% of the Latino students in New Rochelle graduate from high school on time. About 30% of the Black/African-American students fail to graduate on time. Despite the dire economic consequences for New Rochelle, the school district has not implemented any programs designed to specific address the high drop out rate among minority students in New Rochelle.
National Report: “In the nation’s fifty largest cities and the forty-five metropolitan areas that surround them, an estimated 600,000 students dropped out from the Class of 2008 at great cost not only to themselves but also to their communities. Reducing the number of dropouts by 50 percent for this single high school class would result in tremendous economic benefits to these regions. Below, see the combined likely contributions that these 300,000 ‘new graduates’ would make to their local economies”
Former school board member Martin Sanchez, in an address the school board last month, claimed that the actual graduation rate for Latino students in New Rochelle is closer to 50%.
Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak disputed the claim by noting that because the total number of Latino students at New Rochelle High School has increased over the years the actual number of Latino students graduating from the high school has increased even if the percentage of Latinos graduating has been decreasing. Of course, that also means the actual number of Latinos not graduating has also been increasing, a point lost on the simple-minded Superintendent.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University classify high schools where no more than 60% of the students who start as freshmen make it to their senior year as a “Dropout Factory“. Based on the data claimed by Sanchez, New Rochelle High School is a dropout factory, at least for Latino students.